HEARTS winger David Templeton believes he must play from the start against Celtic on Sunday to have any chance of making manager Paulo Sergio’s line-up for the Scottish Cup final.
Having recently recovered from a groin injury, Templeton has found it difficult to regain a starting place in the Hearts team. He is a strong contender to play at Parkhead, but admitted time is against him forcing his way into the team for the historic final with Hibs at Hampden Park on the 19th.
Sergio will make several changes to his team to rest players and Templeton is eager to remind the manager of his potential. “Before I got injured I just wasn’t consistent enough. Some games I was playing really well and other games I just wasn’t involved at all,” said the 23-year-old.
“I was working to try and get that consistency when I ruptured my groin and had another eight weeks out. It was really disappointing, especially with the games we’ve got coming up now.
“It might be a bit late for me now to get a starting place. Hopefully I can get a start against Celtic on Sunday to get my sharpness back and hopefully be involved in the final.”
Templeton added his voice to the clamour for Rudi Skacel to stay at Hearts as the Czech nears the end of his contract. “It would be great for Rudi to stay,” said Templeton. “You see what he brings to the team, the amount of goals he’s scored and how influential he is. I think every fan here would tell you as well that they want him to stay.”
Meanwhile, the all-Edinburgh cup final will be refereed by Craig Thomson and his Euro 2012 team. Thomson will be assisted by Derek Rose and Alistair Ross at Hampden, with Willie Collum as fourth official.
The same team will officiate at the European Championship finals in Poland and Ukraine this summer.